Marksmen to be positioned on EICC roof for Obama visit

Marksmen will be posted on to the roof of the EICC tomorrow for the visit of former president Obama. Picture: PA

Marksmen will be posted on to the roof of the EICC tomorrow for the visit of former president Obama. Picture: PA

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MARKSMEN are expected to be positioned on the roof of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) tomorrow for the visit of former US president Barack Obama.

The presence of the highly-skilled shooters for Mr Obama’s visit follows Monday’s deadly Manchester arena attack which killed 22 people and injured a further 64. Twenty people, most of them children, lie in hospital in a critical state.

Security in the Capital has been tightened as a result, with twenty armed police present at sites around the city including the Scottish Parliament and Waverley Station.

Barack Obama will fly into Edinburgh tomorrow as planned, despite the armed police presence. He will then travel to the EICC to address philanthropy and business leaders at the highly-anticipated dinner event, An Evening With Barack Obama.

Security at Friday’s event will be especially tight, with a heavy armed police presence in and around the Morrison Street complex and extensive body and bag searches taking place at all entrances of the building. Marksmen will also be positioned on the roof.

A source claimed that the general public will not be fazed by seeing armed officers on the street.

“They’re highly trained and professional and they’re working hard to protect us.

“People are seeing them in a better light too. They’re having tourists take photos and cafes giving them coffees and tea, which is appreciated.”

It comes as police in Manchester arrested several people as they investigate a possible “network” around Monday night’s attack.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged extra vigilance

“This is clearly a very anxious time but there is no need to be alarmed.

“Many of the steps that are being taken now are precautionary and I repeat there is no intelligence of a specific threat to Scotland.

“However, I do ask the public to be vigilant and to report any concerns or suspicions that they may have to the police.”

Speaking of former president Obama’s visit, Will Drummond, general manager of Lebowskis on Morrison Street, said: “We’re really excited and expect there will be lots of people coming in before and after the event at the EICC. “I think it will be like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s visit last year, but on a different scale.”

Although a cloak of darkness still surrounds the details of the former president’s visit, hundreds of people are expected to line Morrison Street for a chance sighting of Obama entering the venue.

Mr Drummond added: “I would expect security to be at a maximum however we would have anticipated information about potential road closures or restrictions by now but there has been nothing so far. Business as usual and we are really looking forward to celebrating the occasion.”

Secret service teams have been in the area all week, sweeping the streets ahead of Mr Obama’s arrival. A local office worker said her company sometimes circulates e-mails ahead of high profile events which highlight heightened security but in this case they had received nothing.